Lewis Hamilton has called on the FIA to make the “right decisions” to halt Max Verstappen’s charge, the Briton saying it has “heavily impacted” any talk of competition.
Nearing the end of a record-breaking season for Verstappen, the Red Bull driver has already wrapped up both titles – his points tally more than 100 ahead of Mercedes – and on Sunday in Austin could match his record for the most wins in a single season, 15.
It has been an impressive showing from Red Bull and their all-conquering RB19 with Red Bull having won all but one Grand Prix and one Sprint.
Lewis Hamilton wants ‘close racing’ and ‘competition’
It has also divided the paddock and pundits as to whether Verstappen’s dominance, and it is his alone given that Sergio Perez has just two wins on the board, has “robbed” Formula 1 fans and is “boring”, as former Williams driver Jack Aitken put it.
Hamilton, who has not won a Grand Prix since his 2021 title fight with Verstappen, believes it is having a negative impact.
But while he stopped short of calling on the FIA to intervene, he has urged them to make the “right decisions” to create closer racing.
“I think, within our sport, we have to continue to work on making sure we’re having close racing because I think you’ve seen the social engagement drop a huge amount this year being that…” he said.
“It’s obviously heavily impacted on competition. People want to see that.
“So, we have to make sure that we’re making the right decisions, or the governing body is making the right decisions, to keep us close and great racing right to the end.
“We need more grandstands. I don’t know whether we need to lower the cost but maybe, I don’t know.”
However, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem recently pointed out that Hamilton himself had a period of dominance with Mercedes clinching seven successive championship doubles from 2014 to 2020. Six of the Drivers’ titles went Hamilton, and only one to his team-mate Nico Rosberg.
He says it wouldn’t be fair for the FIA to step in to hamstring Red Bull.
“It’s a bit harsh and not right to go and punish success,” he said.
“I mean, I’m open for suggestions if you think that there is a way to be fair and to be democratic, and not to just punish Max and his team or any other team. We’re all ears here really.
“But I’m stuck like you. There’s no way that the FIA will punish success, and it [one driver dominance] has happened before twice in my time.”
This is not the first time Hamilton has made such comments, the Briton previously saying Formula 1 should tweak the regulations to give all of the teams a set start date on which they can begin working on next year’s cars.
While he didn’t get exactly what he wanted, Auto Motor und Sport reports teams will be banned from working on their 2026 cars before January 2025. 2026 is when Formula 1’s next big spate of new regulations will come into play.
Hamilton just has to, potentially, endure another two years of Red Bull and Verstappen dominance.